Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Hierarchy of the Sciences - Reflecting the Real World

After establishing that theology is a science, in fact, the highest of all the sciences and the judge of their truth or falsity, - St. Thomas Aquinas begins his Summa Theologicae with proofs for God's existence, and His attributes from natural reason alone. This is a most significant point: Divine Grace builds on Nature. Nature and the entire natural order are the necessary support for the supernatural order of Divine Grace! But grace is also necessary for a healthy natural order. 

Theology as the Queen of all the sciences thus establishes first the natural basis for the entire hierarchy of the sciences, in the 5 ways for proving God's Existence. These five ways are exhaustive. There are no others. Any others claiming to be "new" will be found somewhere in one or more of St. Thomas's five ways. Theology branches off into speculative - or what today we would term pure or theoretical science and the practical. This is a very important distinction - because it shows how the practical problems must constantly refer back and up to the principles of pure theology - which include the peak of theology in the Mystical Theology of the spiritual life of Divine Grace. See, for the best example, THE THREE AGES OF THE INTERIOR LIFE - by Dominican theologian par excellence - the Rev. Reginald Garigou-Lagrange.

To separate moral theology off into something dubbed - "The Ethical Question" is disastrous and really stupid in the extreme. Moral theology must flow directly from the theology of man's nature - which begins with his creation on Day Six of the First Week of the World. St. Thomas's Summa discusses God's nature, His attributes, and the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. Then, with question 44, he begins the "Treatise on the Creation" - which continues through question 74. Then comes the "Treatise as Man" - which may fairly be said to be the main focus of the remainder of the Summa.

I. Theology - Mystical
   3 Ages                        Grace

II. Metaphysics
Existence and Essence
Highest of the Natural Sciences

A. Existence (esse) and assence (ens)
B. Act and Potency
C. Form and Matter

These pairs are never separated -- except in God who is ALL Existence (His Essence is to Exist)
God is all Act - no process in His Acts of Creation - He speaks and it IS
God is All - Infinite - Immortal - Eternal etc...

All of His creatures are composite - Angels of Act and Potency
Man of Form and Matter; one substance and many accidents

All corporeal creatures are composites of Existence and Essence - Act and Potency - Form and Matter - Substance and Accidents

The accidents of every substance are listed as the Nine Categories, and these Nine Categories form the objects of all the natural sciences.

For example: The object of Mathematics is quantity. Mathematics - like logic - is a tool of all the sciences - because all of the Nine Categories are ultimately based on some quantity of a material form. The formal object of physics is the Substance of the Body of the Universe and its quantitative unit - the atom and the atomic structure, i.e., the atom and all of its sub-atomic particles. The object of chemistry is the changing structure of the atom in its various states and forms - plant and animal substantial forms - as well as in its inanimate forms of the atomic elements in their inanimate states. All of the natural sciences must first identify the substance and substantial form of the accidents they are focused upon.

In the case of physics, that Substantial Form is the Body of the Universe. The Higgs boson or particle is supposed to be the entity that gives mass to all other particles. But this is impossible. Only the substance in which all the particles inhere, can give mass to all particles and the source of this Mass is that of the Substantial Form itself, most likely electrical. "Mass is the quantity of matter in a given body that is measured by its inertia." (QPB Ency.of Sci:) The measure of a given body's inertia would be the measure, i.e., the amount (quantity) of FORCE - necessary to set that body in MOTION. Now note well - this is the "first and most manifest way" of St. Thomas's five ways for proving God's Existence; - from motion. This "First Mover" - must - of necessity - be all and only infinite Existence - Infinite Act. As God said to Moses in the Mountain, "I AM WHO AM." And as Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees, "before Abraham was made, I AM!"

Here are the most intimate - integral - intrinsic connections of the supernatural theology of Faith - Divine Revelation and the Natural Theology of Reason. Faith and Reason are distinct - Faith is infinitely above Reason - but the two cannot be separated. If Faith and Reason are separated - Faith goes into the heresy of fideism and Reason goes into the kind of perverted reasoning - exhibited by Dr. Dominique Venner, and called by its own founders and practitioners - existentialism. Fideism is most prone to superstition on the one hand, and to a defeatism - very close to despair on the other hand. But Dr. Venner obviously fell into a heresy that relates directly to the Truths of natural reason. (Please consult Humani Generis for details.) How urgent it is, then, for the true synthesis of St. Thomas to be revived!

In the meantime, Our Lord promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail. We must believe that without a doubt.

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